An Israeli highway
An Israeli highwayIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The latest report on traffic violations in Israel breaks down offenses by gender and ethnicity, showing that men, and Arab men in particular, are more likely to offend. Both Jewish and Arab women were disproportionately unlikely to be stopped for a traffic offense.

The report from the Central Statistics Bureau covered 897,000 instances in which warnings or fines were given for traffic violations. The number of traffic violations exceeded the number of licensed drivers, which stands at roughly 660,000.

Men were found to be significantly more likely to commit driving offenses, with men making up 78% of those receiving tickets or warnings, while comprising 58% of the total number of licensed drivers.

Arab men in particular were more likely to offend, with 22% of traffic offenses committed by Arab men – more than twice what would be expected based on the proportion of Arab men among licensed drivers (10%). Arab women, on the other hand, were unlikely to offend, with just 3% of traffic violations committed by Arab women while 5% of licensed drivers are Arab females.

The discrepancy may be due at least in part to different driving patterns. In many countries male drivers, on average, spend significantly more time on the road.

Gender and ethnicity were found to be linked not only to likelihood of offense, but also to the types of traffic violations most frequently committed. The most common offense among Jewish drivers was speeding, which accounted for 20% of violations. Among Arab drivers, the most common offense, accounting for 27% of violations, was failure to use safety features, most commonly failure to wear a seatbelt.

Young Arab drivers were also likely to be stopped for driving a vehicle in extremely poor condition. Thirteen percent of violations recorded for Arab male drivers under age 24 were handed out because “the build of the vehicle, its condition or its parts do not meet [safety] standards.”

Male drivers’ most common offense was failing to wear a seatbelt or use other safety features (20%), while female drivers’ most frequent offense was failing to heed a traffic light or traffic sign (20%).

The survey found a link between traffic offenses and age, as well: between age 25 and 64, drivers’ likelihood of offending dropped with age.